tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC May 20, 2011 12:00am-1:00am EDT
tonight. >> ok. thank you. you can have the last word at our blog online and follow my tweets as well. "the rachel maddow show" is up next. >> hello, lawrence. i can't hear how reassuring it is to hear the end of the world hasn't happened yet. it makes me feel satisfied and happy. >> we might just make it through the weekend. >> thank you, lawrence. and thank you at home for staying with us for the next hour. we are coming to you from washington, d.c., tonight. i do not come here all that often, but it very nice, and i have to say all of the people that work here at the d.c. bureau make it really easy for us to be in d.c. and do the show from here. so i'm grateful to all of the d.c. crew here. thank you, guys. you guys make it very nice here. this is the studio from which chris matthews does "hardball," where he does his show. and when i saw chris earlier this afternoon, because we're in d.c., you can just hang out, right, chris and i were talking about the art of retail politics
in times like this, about how presidential candidates at this point in the year in the primary season have to really be good at the physical art of retail politics, which means shaking a ton of hands. and it's not necessarily an easy thing to do. people like bill clinton and george w. bush, the really successful politicians, the people who really mastered the primary process, at times of the year like this, in states like iowa, they would not let people leave a room they had been in without shaking every single person's hand. they would shake every single hand in the room before they would leave the room. that is what candidates need to do to win. that is what candidates are taught to do at this time of year when they go to iowa and new hampshire and when they go to these early primary states. there is a physical art to running for president. and at this time of year, it is about touching people. and so what do you do if you are newt gingrich going to iowa today? the single hottest piece of tape in all of politics for the last
week has been the tragic scene in iowa on monday when newt gingrich was doing what he ought to be doing, touching someone, shaking hands with a potential republican caucus goer in iowa, when it all went horribly wrong. >> what you did to paul ryan was unforgivable. >> i didn't do anything to paul ryan. >> yes, you did. you undercut him and his allies in the house. >> you're an embarrassment to our party. i'm sorry you feel that way. >> why don't you get out before you make a bigger fool of yourself? >> if you are newt gingrich and that tape has been playing on a constant loop this entire week, how do you as a person still have the human enthusiasm to shake everybody's hand? don't you kind of flash back to that experience? doesn't that make it harder to refuse to leave any room in which you have not shaken every hand, particularly in iowa? i don't really understand it, but i guess that's why these guys get paid the big bucks. newt gingrich was back in iowa today, there he is touching people, but the stars are still not aligning for him. at a time when he is trying to
sound humbled by what he now says was a grave mistake in criticizing the paul ryan kill medicare plan, mr. gingrich once again proved that however humble he wants to sounds are he does not have the humble thing in is arsenal. >> it's going to take a little while for the news media to sort of realize, you're getting a chance to cover something that happens once or twice in a century. a genuinely grassroots campaign, of very bold ideas. i expect it to take a little while to sink in. >> newt gingrich's campaign according to him is the kind of campaign that only happens once or twice in a century, and the media is just going to have to come to grips with that. despite mr. gingrich's very robust self image, things do not seem to be going his way in this campaign. who knows? maybe he will surprise us all and go on to become the republican nominee and win the white house.
but today while appearing in a place called waterloo, iowa, where napoleon met his end, in a place called waterloo today while everybody thinks his campaign is over or a joke now, in the middle of addressing the waterloo crowd, things are not going gingrich's way. in the middle of addressing the crowd in waterloo, this happened. ♪ young and sweet ♪ only 17 >> newt gingrich's phone went off and iowa. and what is the ringtone? "dancing queen" by abba. which made the associated press today. we found that out to waterloo, i do, i do, i do think that nobody's going to take a chance on newt gingrich. but i could be wrong, fernando. here is the larger point, though. the apparent collapse of newt gingrich's presidential campaign doesn't appear to be as much
about newt gingrich, the myth, the man, the nina, pretty ballerina, it's not about him personally but the way he has screwed up in republican political terms and what that tells us about the country right now. mr. gingrich's downfall was criticizing the republican paul ryan kill medicare plan, but that plan has turn out to be a trap on both sides for republicans. because as much trouble as it has caused newt gingrich to criticize it, it has caused other republicans even more trouble to have endorsed it. on tuesday, this upcoming tuesday, there's going to be a special election for a congressional seat. yes, it is this congressional seat. remember him? christopher lee. yeah. he is no longer a congressman, although he may still be in excellent shape. christopher lee's congressional seat will be subject to a special election on tuesday in new york 26, which is a very
republican district in upstate new york. in a district where republicans shouldn't have to spend one red cent in order to elect a mainstream republican candidate. that district is so red, the republican party and republican groups like karl rove's no donour disclosure group has already spent more than $1 million there to try to hold on to the republicans' chances for that seat in that special election. there is a tea party candidate who is weakening the republican from the right, although he does not seem to have a chance to win himself. but there's also an unexpectedly strong challenge from the democratic candidate, whose political traction is being attributed to the fact that she seems to be a pretty good candidate, and also the republican in the race said she agreed with paul ryan on killing medicare. the republicans are now pulling out all the stops to try to make this medicare gaff go away for that one republican candidate in new york's 26. they are also trying to bring as many national republican resources they can bring to bear on this little district to avoid
the national embarrassment of losing or even having to fight a closely fought battle for a seat in a district that is that red. but, again, this paul ryan thing is such a disaster for them, they cannot get away from it even as they are trying to in this one district, so specifically. what they tried to do is their closing argument in this district this week for this republican candidate jane corwin who is struggling because she said she would vote to kill medicare, what the republicans are doing is they have started running robo calls for her. who are they from? the robo calls are from this guy. to preserve medicare. she'll be a fighter for the medicare. here's how credible congressman allen west is, as someone who can reassure you about the safety of medicare, that can reassure you that republicans don't have any untoward designs to getting rid of medicare. this is what happened at a town
hall event at his home district on tuesday, when his own constituents got angry with him about his vote to kill medicare. i will take my hands off medicare when there is no medicare. and then i will come and see you, sir. remember, he's the star of the new robo call in new york 26 to convince any scared elderly people up there that medicare is safe with him. safe with the republicans. in the house, lord knows why, but house speaker john boehner had all of the republicans in the house go on record and cast a vote on the paul ryan kill medicare thing, so the 235 out of the 239 house republicans who voted for this thing are all vulnerable to that kind of anger from any of their constituents who don't want medicare killed. republicans in the senate are
not yet on the record in terms of how they feel about the paul ryan kill medicare plan. but as they see how it is playing out as a political disaster for republican across the country for house candidates, for serving members of the house, republicans in the senate are trying to keep that problem out of the senate. an anonymous republican senator telling the hill newspaper today that paul ryan made a serious tactical mistake by spelling out medicare reforms in his budget plan. the hill also reporting that the republican leadership in the senate will not whip senate republicans on this vote. they will not pressure or expect republicans to vote for it when it comes up. which is very good news for somebody like republican senator scott brown of massachusetts. scott brown of massachusetts has spent the last week trying to unravel himself from the human knot he tied himself into on the paul ryan kill medicare thing. it's kind of an amazing story. on friday, scott brown said in a speech that he supported the
ryan plan. he said, quote, specifically, i will vote for it. a few days later, his aides explained that when he said, i will vote for it, he didn't actually mean i will vote for it. they said he wasn't saying how he would vote on the bill when he said i will vote for it. he didn't mean that at all. now almost a week later, scott brown has gone from i will vote for it to this. >> having said he will vote for it, and then saying he didn't mean it when he said he will vote for it, scott brown nows he will vote against it. adding this for good measure. >> i've made that very clear. >> yes, you have made that very clear, sir. if you want to see just how much this republican paul ryan kill medicare thing has taken over u.s. politics right now, you have to look at the democrats too.
the top democrat in the house, nancy pelosi, where is nancy pelosi this week? the house is not in session here in d.c. so members of the house can be anywhere in the country. where is nancy pelosi gone? has she gone home to her district, to california? no. nancy pelosi this week has gone to paul ryanville. nancy pelosi is in wisconsin making sure that paul ryan and his kill medicare plan stays on the front pages as much and as long as possible. when asked about whether democrats have an alternative plan to what paul ryan has proposed, from wisconsin, nancy pelosi told greg sergeant at "the washington post" today, yes, quote, we have a plan. it's called medicare. the fight of this congress and beyond will be to preserve medicare and not have it abolished. the three most important issues we should be talking about are medicare, medicare, and medicare. when you repeat it like that, medicare, medicare, medicare, it
♪ dancing queen ♪ young and sweet ♪ >> minnesota senator amy klobachur joining us here next. we'll be right back. sorry. [ artis brown ] america is facing some tough challenges right now. two of the most important are energy security and economic growth. north america actually has one of the largest oil reserves in the world. a large part of that is oil sands. this resource has the ability to create hundreds of thousands of jobs. at our kearl project in canada, we'll be able to produce these oil sands with the same emissions as many other oils and that's a huge breakthrough. that's good for our country's energy security and our economy.
look at all this stuff for coffee. oh there's tons. french presses, espresso tampers, filters. it can get really complicated. not nearly as complicated as shipping it, though. i mean shipping is a hassle. not with priority mail flat rate boxes from the postal service. if it fits it ships anywhere in the country for a low flat rate. that is easy. best news i've heard all day! i'm soooo amped! i mean not amped. excited. well, sort of amped. really kind of in between. have you ever thought about decaf? do you think that would help? yeah. priority mail flat rate shipping starts at just $4.95, only from the postal service. a simpler way to ship. >> hands off medicare! >> hands off medicare! >> i will take my hands off medicare when there is no medicare, and i will come and see you, sir. >> i will take my hands off medicare when there is no medicare. again, that was republican congressman allen west of florida speaking to his beloved constituents this week. the star of the -- he is the star of the new robo call in new
york 26 to try to convince anybody in that district who is worried he's there to convince you that medicare is safe with him and safe with the republicans. joining us now is democratic senator amy klobachur of minnesota. >> hi, rachel. great to be on again. >> harry reid has scheduled a vote for sometime next week on the paul ryan plan. >> that's right. >> how important do you think it is to actually schedule a vote on this, get everybody on the record on this? >> i think people have to understand that this was the budget plan that was put forth by the republicans in the house. it passed the house. and that's why it's being considered by the senate. and the concern i've heard at home is people want us to do something reasonable. i think you know i have been a supporter of the bipartisan budget commission and the work that's being done there. not everyone that's watching your show will agree with everything in that suggested plan. i don't agree with everything. but at least it's a start. it looks at both revenues and
spending cuts. and as you know, the ryan plan doesn't do that. it balances the budget and doesn't even do that for the first 10 years. it has really no cuts. but what it does is has a bunch of tax cuts front loaded, and then what it does is the budget goes on the backs of the middle class. 2/3 of those cuts are on the backs of the middle class, and it eliminating medicare as we know it. that's not what the people of my state want it. they want shared sacrifice. they want the debt to come down. and we can do it in a reasonable way without taking away medicare from our seniors. >> nancy pelosi today saying that democrats do have a plan in response to what paul ryan has proposed, and that plan is called medicare. it's a good retore cal turn, but it does raise the question. should voters believe that democrats will absolutely protect medicare? that benefit cuts in medicare, the entitlement basis of medicare, all of that is off the table in terms of trying to balance the budget?
>> people have to understand what the democrats are doing. what the democrats did in the house and what the democrats are doing in the senate. we want to protect medicare. we understand how important it is for our seniors. and that the way that we handle this budget is by looking at things like oil companies. you know, $4 billion a year, you could save. $40 billion over 10 years. negotiating with the drug companies. that would save $240 billion for medicare part d over 10 years. defense cuts. the secretary gates has suggested. that's $78 billion right there. medicare fraud. $60 billion a year, rachel. you look at the idea of going back to the clinton levels when we were doing really well with our taxes for people, say if you do it, people making over $1 million a year, that saves $360 billion in 10 years. there's a way to get there where there is shared sacrifice, where you're not doing it on the backs of the middle class and our seniors. those are the values that we have been talking about in the democratic party, in the senate.
and by the way, right now there are republicans in the senate -- it used to be the gang of six, and now it's the gang of five, that are willing to talk about a mix of revenue and spending cuts. that's what's happening right now in the senate. and that's what i'm waiting to see what they come up with. i have been long supporting their work. i think it's very important when i talk to people in our state, they don't want this one-sided budget that came over from the house. they want people who are willing to work together. >> when i think about the distance between political polling on an issue and political outcomes on that issue, i always feel like the distance between those two things is partisan advantage, right? so if you look what at you were talking about for the tax rates of people making over $1 million, the idea that those would go back to the clinton levels is more popular than free beer on a saturday in a big college football town. it's really one of the most popular ideas out there having anything to do with the economy,
and is it is unbelievably impossible to talk about that in washington. the idea that republicans would let that pass is so far away from the poll numbers is hard to believe. how come the democrats haven't been able to get more political advantage out of that? >> we voted uniformly for that $1 million level, and some of us would have supported it at the $250,000 a year level. if you talk about the beer, it's all foam and no beer. when you look at that ryan budget, and you look at what it does to seniors and middle income people, you say, ok, you know what? there's an alternative. and it looks pretty good to me. and so that's going to be our job in the next few months to really explain that to people and get it out there. and people are already understanding it. >> what do you make of senate minority leader mitch mcconnell saying that he's not going to whip the republican votes in favor of this? he's not going to expect republican senators to vote for the ryan plan? >> well, i think it's interesting. i think it shows there's problems in the party.
i think most of it was shown this past week when you have newt gingrich, as you have so well pointed out, his ringtone -- >> hold on. ♪ dancing queen ♪ only 17 >> thank you. >> very good. when you have newt gingrich, who i guess is committing the sin of truth by coming out this sunday and saying that this budget was basically too radical, the ryan budget. and when you think about that, i heard someone say today that newt gingrich saying that this budget is too radical for him is like saying, you know, charlie sheen saying he doesn't want to did to a party because it's too wild. i mean, this was a monumental statement, no matter what he said later. i think that there's realisation in our country that we need to do something on this debt, and i want to make that clear. and i think there's going to be things that people won't like that we are going have to do. but there is a fundamental value decision about how you balance this budget, look at where you're going to make those cuts. and i go with looking at the people who are the least vulnerable. i look at going with the people that can handle it.
and when you look at our country, we've always been built on that, a strong middle class. and so to take a budget like the republicans did in the house and take 2/3 of those cuts on the middle class, i just don't think that's the way that this country wants to go, and people are already having problems paying for their mortgages, paying for gas at the pump. there's a different way to do this. >> senator amy klobachur, thank you very being here. >> it was great. i have a plain ringtone, but now i know my life could be so much more exciting. >> excellent. all right. have you seen the cover of dick cheney's new book? check it out. it's called "in my time." that's a photo that says i'm an important man that makes important decisions in important places. right now all of you are in my time. but does that picture of dick cheney also look familiar? weirdly familiar? if that photo is ringing a bell for you right now, but you can't quite put your finger why that looks familiar, i will show you
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where were you when you heard that osama bin laden had been killed? do you remember exactly where you were when you heard? i was here in washington, which is weird because i'm not very frequently here. but it was the weekend of the white house correspondents dinner. and i had to work at the msnbc party after the dinner on
saturday night. so the following day, sunday, when bin laden was killed, i was at a washington, d.c., hotel with susan and with two of our friends, and we were watching an unexpectedly good ben affleck cops and robbers movie called "the town." i don't know how it ends, and do not tell me. because before it ended, my blackberry started going off and there was word that the president was going to speak, and then everyone in the country, at least 56 million of us at 11:35 p.m. on a sunday night, we all, the whole country, watched this. the president walking up to the podium in the east room of the white house and making the announcement. osama bin laden was dead. after i watched the president make the announcement, i went over to the white house to report on the celebration happening on the street outside the white house. but even though that was a pretty remarkable place to be, and a pretty remarkable thing to see, this is really what's burned into my mind. in terms of that night.
that is the announcement of osama bin laden's death. that is the american president saying to the country after 10 years, we got him. that is the image for all of us. it is indelible. this is the cover of dick cheney's new book. the publisher released it yesterday. remind you of anything? dick cheney's book in the same suit, the same shirt, and the same tie, and the same flag pin, and the exact same placement of the flag pin, standing in the exact same place where president barack obama announced the death of osama bin laden. he is standing in the exact same place, the picture for his book taken from the same angle, except on his book cover he stands a head taller than president obama. dick cheney's new book pictorially makes him the guy that got osama bin laden, standing between those two lamps looking just so. they might as well have photo shopped his head onto one of the marines at iwo jima. the front page of president obama's big speech today was the arab spring. the popular populist uprisings
in the middle east. and america's role in facilitating democratic change in that region. and development and peace between the israelis and the palestinians. the unspoken big political elephant in the room, though, was the question of how much more political room to operate this president now has on all foreign policy issues. not just on israel and palestine. not just on the arab spring. but on the wars in particular now that bin laden is dead. and now that we all know on whose watch it happened. and we will not be persuaded to forget it. joining us now is steve clemens of the new america foundation. he is also publisher of "the washington note." i have to ask you first, do you think that the -- do you think that everybody will be convinced that it was really dick cheney who made that announcement in the east wing?
>> when you were going through that, i was reminded of that line about someone in the bush administration saying we make our own reality. so maybe so. >> that's a convenient and well shot reality. steve, there are wider things in flux right now in terms of america's relationship with the muslim world, and we should talk about that. but let me ask you about the afghanistan war. are there real signs of it starting to be wound down? things that might not have happened before the death of bin laden. >> well, we are at the plate, and we have an opportunity to pivot in another direction. we have had the reassignment of david petraeus from the field in afghanistan to the cia. that creates an opportunity. killing bin laden removes from many americans this one big problem we couldn't fix after deploys hundreds of thousands of people. we have been overcompensating trying to kill this guy and get him out of the picture.
if there ever was a chance for the president to begin to move in a different direction this is it. and we know coming up this june, the president will be, announcing a real change. and maybe we're looking at about 30,000 in over a year. some of us like myself think it should be larger. but it gives him an opportunity to break the back of the motion that large-scale clunky military deployments are achieving security success for the united states there. and the other big thing in this is america's best friend-emy is pakistan. the larger our deployments are there, the larger our dependence is on the terms that pakistan sets for the relationship. >> i wanted to ask you about that. because the bin laden raid was a fiasco for pakistan in so many ways. the international embarrassment of being caught out, the suspicions about him being harbored, the implicit rebuke of pakistan's own supposed counterterrorism network for not being able to get him, despite
where he was living. are there things that we want pakistan to do or to promise to help us wind down in afghanistan that they might be more likely to do now because they have been through this fiasco? >> i think both sides need to sort of get the terms of their next relationship together. i have to say that the white house is probably pushing them hard on coming forward on which agents if any helped bin laden. but the bench marks for us publicly is will we say ayman al zawahiri wrapped up. will we see other key al qaeda lieutenants wrapped up. some of the northern lieutenants in al qaeda who have been sheltered in pakistan either coughed up or moved back into afghanistan. in that begins to happen, that is a bench mark that will be more visible to many of pakistan actually trying to get its relationship back on track with us. if that doesn't happen, i think
it leaves a lot of questions about is there enough trust in this relationship to continue in a way -- we won't be able to fully extract ourselves from pakistan because it's a nuclear armed nation on one of the most dangerous fault lines in the world with india. but there's a limit to the robustness of the relationship, and i think that's what we're going through right now. >> for americans who think of the israeli-palestinian situation mostly metaphor for unsolvable, term things -- >> a big ulcer. >> yeah. can you explain sort of the base level importance of what president obama said today about it? >> hugely important. no president of the united states has gone as far as he has and said, we've got to break out of this trap and stop pretending that the status quo -- you know, and people acting like one side or the other that there's a zero sum game. he essentially warned netanyahu and abbas again. we're not going to settle for your immaturity. and saying that we're going to take a borders and security
approach is a back door to solving both the settlement problem that has the palestinians upset, but it also helps solve the hamas problem and the other islamist problem, because you want to set up a security issue. it doesn't solve the problem. it sets a framework that we've seen david mckoskie, has been a chief advocate for what president obama put on the table today. and even though we've seen many republican candidates come out and blast president obama for this, and some jewish leaders, the american jewish committee, the adl, the general jewish defense council have all come out with praise for obama's speech today. this is a real interesting moment that i think is important, and i think it's important on the palestinian side too. because they are trying to, you know, pursue at least a recognition of state, if not having a real state. after this. and i think these are important, because the administration has been faced with something.
i was so shocked today by the speech, because we just saw george mitchell resign and the administration basically say, well, what we tried didn't work. but the president isn't letting it go. >> yeah. in a big, big way. high profile way today. steve clemens, publisher of "the washington note," always great to have you here. >> thank you, rachel. conservative republicans take over both houses of the legislature and the governor's office in the great state of kansas. what do they do with their unilateral power? they pass a big new bunch of government regulations on private business, and they are super psyched about it and bragging about it. new red tape! conservatism is getting weird in places like kansas in a way that washington, d.c., eventually will have to start noticing. i will explain in just a moment. [ male announcer ] finally.
imagine if you will an eighth grade theater production of "west side story" being performed in a school theater in tennessee. a young maria dancing around in love, while her friends wonder what's up with her. in tennessee, if senate bill 43 is signed into law that, might sound something like this. >> she looks somehow different. >> i do? >> and i think she is up to something. >> i am? >> i do. i am. she talks like a parrot. >> what is going on with you, maria?
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we need to empower doctors and patients, and joe, you talked about that 14 years ago in congress, empowering patients and doctors to make decisions. >> we don't want to put the government, bureaucrats, between a doctor and a patient. >> the democrats' emerging bill raises taxes, it rations care, and puts bureaucrats instead of doctors and patients in charge of medical decisions. >> i don't think a bureaucrat should be between a patient and a doctor. see, i don't want to be that bureaucrat. >> i think that's exactly where you are right now. >> we can accomplish health care reform while keeping doctors and patients in charge, not bureaucrats and politicians. >> the democrats want the almighty federal government, which doesn't do anything very well except national security, and maybe a couple of other things, they want them to come between you and your doctor.
>> no government between you and your doctor. the republican party and conservative politicians have been running on that, on that message, on that proclaimed conservative value forever. they did not just invent that in the last election when they made health reform and the idea that it would put the government between you and your doctor when they made that the focus for last year's election. the slogan that republicans don't want the government getting between you and your doctor, it is a slogan that goes way back for them, and it has worked for them. what are they going to do with that message in the next election? what republicans have done with all of the seats they won in the last election is that they've made 2011 the year of the most aggressive rollback of abortion rights since roe versus wade. what are they going to do with the we're the guys who don't want the government between you and your doctors message now? now that republicans from kansas to north carolina to maine have spent 2011 proposing and passing into law bills to have the
government forcibly intervene between you and your doctor under pain of prison, forcing your doctor at your doctor's appointment to read you nonmedical government mandated scripts. if you look at the law passed by indiana this year, the script that state government is forcing doctors to read to you includes medically disputed information written by politicians. it is quite possible, it is reasonable even to expect, that your doctor does not believe the information in that script is true or medically accurate. but the state government of indiana will now force your doctor to read you this information while the legislature has crammed its way into your doctor's office with you anyway. >> we don't want to put the government, we don't want to put bureaucrats, between a doctor and a patient. >> the big intrusive government quality of the anti-abortion republican governance of this year is something we have reported on before on this show, and something that some small government conservative republicans in places like wyoming and even florida have
been recoiling against and rebelling against. but those few dissident republicans are really swimming upstream on this. and now the great anti-abortion ambition of republicans in 2011 is complicating not just the big government, small government message that republicans are really going to want to keep on running on. it is also complicating some of the even more basic conservative values they say they are for. the things they say define them as conservatives and as a republican party. >> we need to return to the reagan years. we need to have fiscal conservatism. we need less government. we need less regulation. >> let's reduce burdensome regulations that serve no purpose other than to insert more government into the lives of citizens. >> the government rules and regulations and red tape. >> burdensome government regulations cause more red tape. >> continuous overregulation by
this government. >> i think that all of us can agree on one thing, and that is if you're going do something, don't do this. don't give a new power to the regulators. >> i am calling on congress to enact a regulatory cooling off period. >> this idea is probably the most focused, finely honed slogan of them all. less regulation. sam brown in kansas this week signed into law sweeping new regulations. they target the few remaining abortion clinics and providers operating in that state. the new extra regulations in kansas there will regulate where doctors providing abortions can physically practice medicine, where they will be allowed to put their practice. the new regulations will regulate the number of people and even the gender of people who the new regulations say have to be in the room while an abortion is being done. the government has set up new regulations for exits and for lighting and for bathrooms and for equipment for the clinics. unannounced inspections, annual licensing, a whole new agency
with authority over abortion collinins. -- clinics. from a down with regulation, cut the red tape conservative republican legislature and governor has sprung a red tape manufacturers full employment program in kansas. this kind of thing is called trap laws. punitive regulations designed to make it anywhere from really, really hard to impossible for abortion providers to keep their practices open. from the we hate red tape party, the prescription for these trap laws is death by red tape. this legislative session, republican governors have also signed trap laws to regulate abortion clinics out of existence in indiana, in virginia, and in utah. so competing with the less regulation thing, what's the only other values message that might be more successful than that for the republicans?
more famous, more focused grouped, more clear, that they are more proud of, that republicans are more consistent about than the we hate regulation message? what's the only republican values message you hear more consistently from them than that? it's we want less taxes, right? >> lower corporate taxes. don't raise taxes. lower taxes. >> no one should have to suffer under a tax hike riot now. >> raising the tax rates is off the table. >> everything should be on the table except raising taxes. >> the safest thing for america would be to have a provision passed this fall that says no tax increase of any kind in 2011. >> i don't want to raise taxes. >> republicans hate taxes. nothing could be clearer. republicans hate taxes. on may 4th, every single republican present in the house voted to raise taxes. to raise taxes as a means of restricting access to abortion. that was hr 3, a bill that raises taxes on health insurance as a means of making abortion less available. they want to restrict abortion rights so badly that in the great anti-abortion republican overreach of 2011, they have defied and undercut and given lie to their own supposed value
that they don't want to raise taxes. their own supposed value that they want less regulation. they have defied and undercut and given lie to their own supposed value that they just want the government out of your doctor's office. the whole next year is about defining what the two parties stand for. the remarkable and radical abortion politics of this year in the states, that is not something that is separate from that national conversation. that ought to be part of that conversation. joining us now is connie schultz, pulitzer prize winner for "the plain dealer" in cleveland. great to see you. thank you for being here. >> thanks for having me, rachel. >> i sort of think you ought to believe in when you ask people what they believe in, what they're for. how do you cut the red tape conservative republican legislature and governor has sprung a red tape manufacturer's full employment
program in kansas. these kind of things are called trap laws -- punitive regulations designed to make it anywhere from really, really hard to impossible for abortion providers to keep their practices open. from the we hatred tape party the prescription for these trap laws is death by red tape. this legislative session republican governors have also signed trap laws to regulate abortion clinics out of existence in indiana, virginia, and utah. so competing with the less regulation thing what's the only other values message that might be more successful for the republicans, more famous, more focused group, more clear that they're more proud of and are more consistent about than the we hate regulation message? what is the only republican values message you hear more consistently from them than that? it's we want less taxes. >> lower taxes. don't raise taxes. lower taxes. >> no one should have to suffer under a tax hike right now while we're hovering around 10%
and at that moment you realize that this has nothing to do with women's health. this has nothing to do with protecting life. this has everything to do with playing to their extremist base. and i sat there while an attorney from washington got up and first said that some women who are raped want to have those babies because it is a triumph over their rapist. i could hear women gasp in the audience and some of them were tearing up. this is cruelty. this is an assault on women's rights. the same lawyer at one point said if romeo, not kidding you, if romeo had known that juliet still had a heart beat romeo would not have killed himself. and i wanted to look around the room and just ask for a show of hands, how many know this is fiction? how many know this was a play? it's stunning to me what's happening. it's hypocrisy. i can't -- i think what we're trying to do, rachel, you and i and so many of us right now are trying to look for the logic in
what they're doing and there is no logic. they are trying to play to their far right base and trying to raise money and it has really nothing to do with women's health. >> connie, i have been talking about what's going on in the states on abortion politics this year. we've been trying to document it in as many states as possible. what you are describing in ohio is some of the most radical proposed anywhere that heart beat bill would be essentially an abortion ban at five weeks so as soon as you realize you missed your first period an abortion would be illegal if that bill was in effect in ohio but it's not popping at the national level. there's no, when you're here in washington, when you're talking about national politics and what's going on and the difference between the parties people really aren't the decision makers and the opinion makers aren't really talking about this abortion radicalism as being nationally important. from your post at "the plain dealer" in cleveland when you write about this stuff are you able to get any insight into our national ability to have a discussion about this based on the response you get to your writing about it? >> yeah. for the first time ever.
i've been writing about abortion rights since i've become a columnist in the fall of 2002. i've never had the number of e-mails and phone calls i'm getting now from republicans, readers who self-identify as republicans who say to me, do not lump me with these nuts. basically is how they put it. >> wow. >> or do not lump me with these extremists. what i think the republicans who are shooting for this, it's not all republicans. these are extremists and they are losing their base and what it seems to me from the mail i'm getting from the response and the conversations i'm having and what i'm starting to hear a little bit about internal polling in some campaigns, it is also causing them to lose independent voters because they did not vote for these men and women in the fall to pull these sorts of stunts in state houses. they voted for them to really bring down the deficit in their states. we have a lot of budget issues in various states including ohio and they had expected them to be spending an awful lot of time figuring out how they're going
to create jobs. they did not vote for this circus. >> connie schultz, pulitzer prize winning columnist for "the plain dealer" in cleveland. thank you very much for your time. i appreciate having you on the show. >> thank you for spending this time on the issue, rachel. you are alone out there doing that for us and i appreciate it. >> thank you. i should say in the interests of full political disclosure connie schultz is married to a man you may have heard of named sherrod brown a u.s. senator from ohio. up next the best new thing in the world. it comes from tennessee's proposed don't say gay law. whatever you think of that law that proposed law has provoked a celebrity response so satisfying that it is the best new thing in the whole world today and that is next. ♪ professional driver on a closed course. ♪ do not attempt at home. always wear your seat belt. ♪ and please drive responsibly.
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the bill is called the don't say gay bill because the language bans teachers from acknowledging even the existence of anything other than het r het row sexuality. now mr. sulu has decided if tennessee teachers can't say the word "gay" in class e will provide a brilliant alternative. watch. >> i'm here to tell tennessee and all lgbtus and teachers who would be affected by this law that i am here for you. in fact, i'm lending my name to the cause. any time you need to say the word gay, you can simply say tekay. for example you could safely proclaim you are in support of tekay marriage. if you're in a more festive mood you can march in a tekay pride parade. even homophobic slurs don't seem as hurtful if someone says that is so tekay. and around the holidays you can sing ♪ don we now our tekay apparel" speaking of apparel